Monday, February 21, 2011

Review -- JIM BYRNES -- Everywhere West

Everywhere West
Jim Byrnes
Black Hen Music

Since his 1995 release of That River, Jim Byrnes has been a favourite of mine. I totally loved that CD, and still rate it among the best blues disks I have reviewed.
Now Byrnes is a versatile performer, and his 2008 release House Of Refuge was more gospel in nature, and still earned a 9-out-of-10.
Last June Byrnes was back on the review pile with My Walking Stick which was and eight.
Which brings us to Everywhere West, Byrnes newest release.
The disk seems a little bit between pure blues and gospel, two musical styles which actually have a lot in common.
Hot As A Pistol starts the disk, and it’s certainly blues.
Then Byrnes switches gears a bit, and gives us Yield Not To Temptation, a song while bluesy, is also very much a gospel effort.
Then it’s back into pure, old time blues with Bootlegger’s Blues.
Overall the new effort is more a blues album. In that respect it might be most closely related to That River among Byrnes’ recent efforts, and for me that is a good thing.
I truly enjoy Byrnes clear vocals, and relaxed approach to the blues. It comes across like he’s sitting across the living room strumming his guitar and singing to the listener directly. That sort of musical intimacy is not always easily achieved, but Byrnes seems to pull it off effortlessly.
As I stated to start, I was a fan from the time of listening to the first disk I heard from him, and now into the fourth solo CD I have reviewed from this Canadian artist, my view has not changed. Still a favourite.
Check him out at
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Nov 3, 2010 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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